29.6.14

Discovering Spinalonga

So, already more than one and a half months ago (on May 13), while I and my fiancé were still luxuriating in dreamy Crete we also visited the teeny-tiny island of Spinalonga. Our journey began from Agios Nikolaos where we went on board of a tourist ship called Kalidon (which, by the way, is the synonym for Spinalonga). And once on the historical island, we immediately decided to ditch other tourists and explore the whole thing on our own, without the typical, usually kind of disturbing hordes. It surely was an impeccable idea to do that and here's what we learned (history lesson alert!!).

colourful Agios Nikolaos

Spinalonga is a small (=8.5 ha) rock island. In ancient times this island was called Kalidon and a castle was built on top of it by the residents of ancient Olous (a sunken city situated at the present day town of Elounda).
Then came the Venetian period and a massive fortress, armed with 35 cannons and 300 soldiers, was constructed on top of the ruins of the ancient castle between 1579 and 1586.
In 1715 the Turkish rule hit Spinalonga and it lasted until 1889.
 

In 1903 the Greek Government made a decision to turn the island into a hospital colony for people suffering from leprosy. Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a contagious disease that primarily affects the skin and the extremities and to a lesser extent, the nervous system. The victims of the disease, men and women from all over Crete took over the abandoned homes of the Turkish invaders and slowly started to rebuild their lives there. They created a community of their own: turned the main roadway into a shopping street, built a bakery, a coffee shop and a grocery shop.

thrifted headscarf | Emporio Armani sunnies | Chicnova sweatshirt c/o (link) | thrifted Lil' Missy (Seppälä) crop top | thrifted Review Jeanswear denim shorts | thrifted Complement fringe bag | Via Dei sandals.

In 1912 Crete was united with the rest of Greece, Spinalonga started to receive financial assistance from the Government and got a president, a priest and a teacher. Weddings were held there and from these marriages 100 healthy children were born.
Electricity
, supplied by a generator, came to Spinalonga in 1930 and this way Spinalonga had electrical power when the rest of the people in the villages of Crete were still using oil lamps and later, gas lamps.

A cure for leprosy was found in 1954 and many of the residents of Spinalonga got well and returned to their families. Spinalonga as a refuge for victims of leprosy was closed down in 1957.

church of Agios Georgios



Well, that indeed was one quite decent history lesson and I genuinely hope at least some of you are fond of history and the further background of things and events around us :). I myself added Victoria Hislop's Spinalonga related novel The Island to my wannabe reading list after seeing and studying the real thing.

Anyhow, after our fascinating hours in (small) Spinalonga we also got an unexpected chance to visit the peninsula of Spinalonga aka "large Spinalonga" (see the map for clarification). Unfortunately our time there was a little too strongly limited and we could only take a speedy walk nearby our landing-place but in the process we saw the unique rocky church of Saint Luke and other spectacular authentic views. You know what I mean if you're also a true fan of mighty mountains and heights.
Oh and when we arrived in Agios Nikolaos again and were tiredly on our way to the hotel we came across the coolest tavern - Ayra Loft. This time I will only share one little collage about our first delicious meal there but you will definitely hear and see more about that scrumptious eatery in my future posts!

church of Saint Luke


Emporio Armani sunnies | thrifted Kenzo kimono cardigan | thrifted dress | thrifted Complement fringe bag | thrifted Beverly Feldman loafers.

And last but not least a few very quick words about life lately and my grand hiatus. I celebrated my birthday entirely four times, on June 25 began our second holiday in 2014 before what I worked like a madwoman. After all the effort our garden is in pretty nice shape already and we're moving towards new projects and ideas, for an easy example - I want to order all our books alphabetically (perfectionist problems) and bring my poor messy wardrobe into perfect order. The list goes on of course but I'm sure today's post is long enough without my endless list of chore.

I hope you enjoyed my history lesson and all the photos taken on memorable May 13. And I also truly hope I will be so much better at avoiding those whopping hiatuses which are totally uncool of me. So I guess see you next time! :)

36 comments:

  1. I love that kimono! And man, these pictures are so warrrrmmm! Ughhhh, it's too cold here.

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  2. Haha, arranging books in an alphabetical order sounds like something mom would love to do. :-D
    I hated history in school, but I love it now. The Viasat History channel is a favorite :-D So I really enjoyed the post!
    And I love you in pink! So pretty!

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    1. your mom sounds like a my kind of person then, haha. though I haven't quite started creating my system yet :P

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  3. Happy belated birthday, I completely forgot thatwe share the same birthday :).

    Spinalonga looks so interesting and I appreciate the history lesson, it's good that those with leprosy got better and returned to their families, but it's interesting to hear of the life they made for themselves on the island :).

    Sarah xo | Polka Dot Lemon

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    1. thank you and happy belated birthday to you too! (I also forgot. how typical of me!)

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  4. seekord on pildid küll ilma mõttes halvasti ajastatud :D aga muidu sa oled igatahes eeskujulikum kui mina, nii et väga kiidan. mu viimane reisipostitus jäigi publish-nuppu nägemata, kui ma avastasin, et juba pea kaks kuud on möödas, mis tundus kuidagi väga pikk aeg, ja loobusingi siis :D

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    1. haha, no vähemalt soe on, ja kui ilmateadet uskuda, siis järjest soojemaks läheb, lausa ulmeline +27 jäi silma ;)
      aga tegelikult pole ju vahet, kas 2 kuud hiljem või varem. põhiline on ikka see, et kui oled juba aega võtnud ja postituse kallal nokitsenud, siis pane aga üles! reisipostitused on alati põnevad!

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  5. Wow Spinalonga has so much history! So cool that you got to explore the island. And happy belated birthday :)

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    1. thank you very much, Joyce :)

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  6. Whoaaa, I had no idea the history behind Spinalonga (let alone that it existed...aha). Way cool post about it's background and your trip there! :)

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

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  7. Very interesting post, now I want to go there..

    You have an KENZO KIMONO ??? Just awesome !! (btw, I love your high waist short)

    Kisses ♥♥

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  8. Hello Maiken, it's always nice to stop by.
    This island is really beautiful, it sounds like a perfect place to relax and stay away from stress. I love how you and your fiancé make time to always visit beautiful places and live great experiences together. I hope I'll have this kind of moments with my boyfriend when we will be working and living together.
    Estonia has some really great thrift shops, I'm always amazed by your finds. That Kenzo kimono looks pretty!
    I know you keep telling me that you miss my posts in English and honestly I don't know if I will ever do bilingual posts again but well I don't forget you :)
    Have a nice week
    Xo

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  9. I am a fan of the thrifted kimono, and liked learning more history about Spinalonga. It looks like a very interesting place, I'd love to visit one day.
    /Madison

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  10. Beautiful photos, it looks like you had a wonderful time! Thanks for your comment on my blog! What are the Midsummer traditions in Estonia?

    xxx
    E from Helsinki, Finland
    http://dragonflyelisabeth.blogspot.fi/

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  11. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and I love your cardigan!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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  12. What a charming little island! I've never even heard of Spinalonga - I'm a little embarassed - and now, after seeing your photos, I'm sure that I need to visit in a hurry because the scenery looks utterly stunning. How lucky that you're already in your second holiday, too! I had my first in March, as I know you know, but my next one isn't until September and the six months in between are beginning to feel very long. Wishing you a very happy belated birthday!
    xox,
    Cee

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  13. Happy belated birthday, may you enjoy many more. These photos are giving a serious case of wanderlust! Not fair! Those shorts are nice by the way.

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  14. It looks so gorgeous and colourful. Can you believe I've never been to Greece?
    I really need to go.

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  15. I love travelling and exploring! This is certainly an insightful post, thank you!
    It's a gorgeous little place, hope you have enjoyed yourselves :)
    Love,
    Dreamygamine.blogspot.com/ xo

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  16. I'm always transported somewhere beautiful when I look at your photos! Loved reading your post, and hope you had a happy birthday!

    StylizedLuxe
    Instagram

    xo Jess

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  17. Maiken! Ahh, don't fret at all about your hiatuses--you have company in me haha. Before I knew it, two weeks had passed since my last post! But I guess that just means that real life is crazy and beautiful for us now. Happy belated birthday! I'm a June baby as well :)

    Also totally loving the scenic town of Spinalonga! I learn all about these beautiful places via your blog I probably would've never otherwise discovered. I know all about leprosy from Bible studies, and think that it's funny that such a gorgeous place developed from such a stark original purpose.

    Your outfits, of course, in all these travels are great! I recognize the colorful paris sweatshirt from a winter post and think it looks wonderful in a summer look as well. Only you can manage to look so put-together on vacation! I love the high-waisted shorts and crop top combo--so trendy and chic.

    Can't wait for more updates and stunning photos! Hope all is well with you! Have a beautiful week!

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  18. wow what an amazing island! it looks like a hidden gem! :) would love to visit there one day! :D

    http://katslovefashion.blogspot.com

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  19. Wow, breathtaking photos!
    Love your jumper!

    http://adollwithoutstyle.blogspot.com

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  20. Such a fantastic place! Your photos could be published in any fashion magazine as a sneak-pics from a paradise! My husband just came back from Crete. He fell in love with the place too.
    You look absolutely radiant and vacation perfect dear Maiken

    Xx

    Alexandra

    www.fashion-bridge.blogspot.com

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  21. I'm so happy to hear about the earrings you won on my blog, I can't wait to see them in your blog post :)

    xxx
    E from Helsinki, Finland
    http://dragonflyelisabeth.blogspot.fi/

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  22. Great photo!!! :-)

    My last post on
    www.ilblogdelmarchese.com

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  23. Thanks for your sweet comment Maiken. It would be interesting to learn more about your work!

    xxx
    E from Helsinki, Finland
    http://dragonflyelisabeth.blogspot.fi/

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  24. Maiken ..Happy Belated Birthday first of all & the history lesson was a very good one,very easy on my light brain :).Ah ..that kimono looks lovely..You look all relaxed and wonderful along with your fiance..

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  25. Very interesting post, I really enjoyed reading it! Happy belated birthday! Lovely pictures

    The Velvet Black // UK Style, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

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  26. Wow you learn so much on your holidays,I should do more of that,actually learning a bit about the country your visiting,

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    1. So much history there to be learned..sorry I'm having to do this on my phone..laptop not really working and my comment is saving in parts :/ :D

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    2. Your captured some beautiful photos,so sunny! I want to go there! The buildings the water :) I love your holiday outfits too,colourful and that kimono is gorgeous x

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  27. ...this is silly on my phone..sorry. It was your birthday too,hope you had a fabulous one at that,and gosh you have lots of plans,I swear your constantly busy and on the go :) organising sounds great to me,I'm quite the perfectionist myself :D take care xx and hope you have a lovely weekend

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  28. These photos are super stunning. The colours are so gorgeous and unbelievable.

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  29. You look stunning! Love this photos! ♥
    xo
    http://adelinaschoice.blogspot.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Adelinas-Choice/255152961324843?fref=ts
    Would you like to follow each other via GFC, Bloglovin or Facebook? Let me know, follow me, I'll sure do the same:)

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